Evidence-based Policy-Marketing in Hong Kong: The Case of Controlling Ship Emissions
3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
HKUST Business School Central, 15/F Hong Kong Club Building


While the rationale for basing policy-decision on evidence seems unobjectionable, evidence-based policy making is still far from being a reality across many key policy areas. On the one hand, tremendous amount of scientific research, with significant potential policy impacts in informing and enlightening existing practices and policy choices, has been generated over time.  On the other hand, policy-making in many key policy areas continues to be dominated by ideology, gut feeling, passion, and blind optimism.

The case of controlling ship emissions in Pearl River Delta (PRD) demonstrates several key ingredients for putting evidence-based policy making into practice policy entrepreneurship, effective partnership among key stakeholders, and the role of science in policy-making. Little attention was paid to ship emissions in Hong Kong until 2006 when the first marine emissions-related background study was conducted by Civic Exchange. Scientific studies conducted by environmental scientists at HKUST and other academic institutions find that ships are the number one emission source in Hong Kong. In the following decade, policy-makers, government officials, scientists and civil society leaders have worked together to tackle the ship emissions in PRD through governance and policy innovations, such as Fair Winds Charter, the world's 1st industry-led voluntary fuel switching initiative, and the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation. 


Dr Christine LOH, OBE, JP is Under Secretary for the Environment of HKSAR. She was the CEO of the non-profit public policy think tank Civic Exchange. Dr Loh had spent a decade as a politician and member of the Legislative Council. She has held several senior regional positions in commodities trading and in project negotiation. Since 1980, she had served on boards of a wide range of NGOs in Hong Kong and overseas concerning issues in environmental protection, urban planning and design, and equal opportunity. Dr Loh is a lawyer by training.


Mr. Arthur BOWRING is Senior Consultant of Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA). He was the Managing Director of the Association for over two decades. Mr Bowring started his maritime career in 1968 as a cadet seagoing officer, and has almost 50 years of extensive experience in different areas of maritime affairs. He was awarded the Lloyd's List Asia Lifetime Achievement Award and the Seatrade Maritime Asia "Contribution to the Development of the Hong Kong Maritime Cluster" award in 2014 and 2015, respectively.


Prof. Alexis Lau is currently Associate Director of Institute for the Environment and Director of the Atmospheric Research Center. Prof Lau specializes in Air Quality (AQ), Weather and Climate, and his techniques include analysis of large-scale geophysical datasets, numerical models, and in-situ and satellite remote sensing. His research has been regularly used by local and regional governments, including AQ studies before 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 Asian Games, and more recently in the Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong in 2013. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Group of the WHO Panel on the development of a Global Platform on Air Quality and Health, and an expert member of the Environmental Sustainable Transport Program of the United Nations (UN) Center for Regional Development.


Dr. Peter LOUIE worked as Research Associate at the Energy & Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota prior to joining Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPD). He has extensIve experience in air quality monitoring and teaching, including the pollution sources monitoring, QA/QC program for Pearl River Delta-HK regional air quality monitoring, and the setting up of supersites air quality monitoring program in Hong Kong. Dr Louie serves as an advisor to the WHO on the development of the Global Platform on Air Quality and Health (2015) and chaired the WHO working group on developing recommendations for surface monitoring of air quality. Dr Louie now serves as the Senior Environmental Protection Officer (Air Policy) of Marine Policy and Control Section, responsible for shipping emissions control, in the EPD of the HKSAR.

3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
HKUST Business School Central, 15/F Hong Kong Club Building
Co-organized by HKUST Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education and Institute for the Environment
Post an event
Campus organizations are invited to add their events to the calendar.